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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that the statewide uninsured motorist rate for January 2024 is 6.69%. The Insurance Research Council reports that in 2022, 14% of all U.S. drivers didn’t have car insurance despite it being illegal. While there’s a significant variance in these estimates, there’s no doubt that uninsured drivers are a big problem in Florida.

Car-Damage-Front Car-Front-Damage

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that more people moved to Florida in the last few years than any other state. Florida also received 250,000 migrants from foreign countries. This is slightly less than California but more than Texas. In addition, the cost of living across the nation has increased. When people struggle to pay their bills, insurance is one expense many deem unnecessary and expendable, so it’s the first to go. After all, you can survive without insurance, but you cannot survive without food or shelter.

However, not having auto insurance becomes a significant issue when a serious accident occurs.

 

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Uninsured Drivers?

Answer: Stay home!

If staying home isn’t feasible (which it isn’t for most people), the next best thing you can do is add uninsured motorist coverage to your Florida auto insurance policy.

 

What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?

In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage helps you recover compensation beyond what you and the other driver’s normal policy limit would cover. Uninsured motorist policies cover lost wages and medical expenses. It may also cover pain and suffering. Uninsured motorist coverage also pays for injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver.

 

Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?

One law of nature is that irresponsible people do irresponsible things. Drivers who don’t have insurance are more likely to be careless while driving. It’s impossible to predict if you will ever be in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. My professional advice is to be aware of this dangerous trend and protect yourself and your family by buying uninsured motorist coverage with your Florida auto insurance policy.

Florida law only requires an insurance minimum of $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection. If you’re in an accident caused by a driver with minimum insurance, that driver’s policy will not pay any money for your injury claim. None. This is because the minimum insurance does not include Bodily Injury Liability insurance, which is the coverage that pays for the person’s injuries or death caused by the insured driver.

For this reason, I don’t recommend buying the Florida minimum insurance coverage. I also believe it’s absolutely necessary to purchase uninsured motorist coverage with limits as high as possible to protect you and your family from the thousands of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Florida.

 

How to Get Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida

Uninsured motorist protection is offered by all insurance companies that do business in Florida. It can be purchased the first time you buy insurance or added to your existing policy at any time.

How much uninsured motorist coverage should you buy?

Answer: As much as you can afford.

I have attached a handy chart that you can use in discussions with your auto insurance agent to help you select the right coverages. If you don’t have an insurance agent, I recommend Gentry Insurance Agency.Coverage Explanations

What Should You Do if You’re Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll want to ensure you and your passengers are safe by moving your vehicles out of the road. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and be sure to take photographs of the scene. You may also want to get the contact information of potential witnesses. Call the police and get a report of the incident. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel pain or notice any injuries immediately after the accident. It may take several days to feel the full extent of your injuries. Your PIP coverage won’t protect you unless you seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident.

After you’ve left the accident scene, call your personal injury attorney and file a claim with your insurance. Your attorney will help you work through the insurance claim process with your best interests in mind. We’ll help you recover damages for injuries exceeding your PIP coverage limits.

 

Recovering Damages When You’re Injured in an Accident Caused by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

Your PIP coverage will cover your losses up to your plan policy, even if you’re not at fault and the other driver is uninsured. PIP coverage provides assistance for up to 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages. Often, minimum PIP coverage is inadequate to fully recover your damages related to the accident. When this happens, you’ll need to speak with an auto accident attorney to file a lawsuit against the other driver for the rest of your damages.

 

Brett M. Bressler— Orlando Auto Accident Attorney

We can represent you and get you a settlement even when the other party has no insurance or when they have the state minimum insurance. We’re dedicated to helping you recover damages for your injuries due to auto accidents with uninsured motorists. Contact us at 407-599-2002 or fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation.

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